Realtor.com’s recently released “Cross Market Demand Report” shows Charleston as the top destination for those looking to relocate.
For the report, Realtor.com examined the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States and calculated the number of people outside of those areas who search for homes on the website. Only visits to properties that are actively for sale were counted.
Charleston was the No. 1 area people showed interest in; Columbia and the Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin metro area also placed in the Top 10.
Realtor.com determined that populations looking to move include baby boomers and other retirees seeking warmer climates; young people looking for interesting work balanced with a good, and affordable, quality of life; and those seeking more affordable housing than what is in their own market.
Although homes in Charleston cost an average of 36-percent more than in the markets in which the visitors live, other aspects of the city make it an attractive place to move. A growing port and associated industries, booming tourist trade, beachside retirement communities, an expanding tech sector and a thriving downtown are among them.
“It’s no mystery why the Charleston region continues to grow steadily,” Erin Aylor, vice president of marketing for the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, told the Palmetto Business Daily in an email interview. “We’re blessed with natural beauty, rich culture, a dynamic economy and strong wage growth. So far in 2019, employers have added more than 7,000 net new jobs. Most of the new residents are entering our local workforce, allowing our local employers to continue job growth. Additionally, they continue to drive spending at local restaurants, retailers and entertainment venues.”
One challenge to growth is providing affordable housing, with a recent study of Charleston County concluding that a full third of the population lacks it; and safe, attractive and affordable places to live are crucial to businesses, including tech and tourism, that are growing and want to attract the best workers.
“It’s no mystery how to enhance our quality-of-life while we grow,” Aylor wrote. “We need to continue investing in roads and mass transit, deliver more housing options at prices working families can afford, and prepare every local student for the well-paying jobs companies are creating in the Charleston region.”